NetSuite rolled out new Android mobile cloud services including an employee “procure-to-pay” system at its SuiteWorld conference.
The Android announcement brings NetSuite’s business productivity applications to the variety of Android smartphones that have struggled to compete with the iPhone in the enterprise.
The company says its NetSuite for Android is the first end-to-end cloud business management app for smartphones, bringing the company’s unified cloud Enterprise Resource Planning, CRM and e-commerce products to the mobile devices.
NetSuite says sales and services reps could use the mobile app to access their calendar, prepare for a call by pulling up a customer’s purchasing history and then access inventory data to place orders directly from the device as part of a meeting with the customer. Similarly, sales support representatives can access customer and product information to order replacement parts while on the go.
Managers can also use the app to access their calendar and authorize expenses, sign off on timesheets and approve purchases from their mobile device.
Analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies says that with many businesses accepting the Bring Your Own Device movement, announcements like NetSuite’s will be a good option for IT departments looking for ways to make those devices more productive within the enterprise.
NetSuite’s decision to support Android will help device makers like Samsung, which to date has not had great success marketing its Android devices to business buyers.
“The demand is there,” Bajarin told eWEEK, “so it makes sense for NetSuite to do this.” He also notes Salesforce already offers CRM apps for Android.
NetSuite for Android is expected to be available later this month as a free download from Google Play. The company released an initial earlier version focused on cloud ERP in December, 2014.
Cloud-based Employee Procure-to-Pay Portal
With its new employee procure-to-pay portal, NetSuite said its goal is to make employee purchasing as easy as using a consumer Website like Amazon.com.
Built using NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce platform, the portal lets employees buy, receive, and expense goods over a fixed period of time based on one set of negotiations. NetSuite says this should save companies a lot of time as typically an employee has to repeat the approval process for each purchase.
The SuiteCommerce platform also gives managers procurement dashboards for real-time visibility of metrics across the organization such as purchase orders and third party logistics. As this is all linked to NetSuite demand planning software, users are able to see the best time to make purchases for cost and specific quantities.
Vendors get self-service access that lets them enter responses to quotes, view purchases, check the status of quotes and monitor accounts payable reports and time tracking on extended projects.
“Like many other vendors, NetSuite is delivering its new solution in a user-friendly, easy to use wrapper that is more reminiscent of business to consumer (B2C) services than traditional business to business (B2B) solutions,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told eWEEK.
“That should be good for the company’s customers since simplifying often complex processes and transactions should lessen training requirements and allow more employees to participate.”
King added that NetSuite’s rollout reflects a broader consumerization of business technologies occurring across individual markets and the entire IT industry. “The overall result of these efforts is increasingly intuitive tools and solutions,” he said.
The SuiteCommece platform also reflects NetSuite’s support for global companies as it provides multi-currency, multi-language and multi-subsidiary capabilities with support for local accounting regulations and country-level financial and indirect tax reporting.
NetSuite founder and Chief Technology Officer Evan Goldberg boasted in a release that the procure-to-pay capabilities leapfrogs competitive offerings by offering “future-proof capabilities” and a B2C-like consumer experience.